Tesco / WM Morrison Supermarkets (2005)

OFT closed case: Anticipated acquisition by Tesco plc of a former Safeway site at Coulby Newham from Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc.

Affected market: Grocery retailing

No. ME/1862/05

On the basis of the information available to it, the Office of Fair Trading has decided that the anticipated acquisition by Tesco plc of a former Safeway site at Coulby Newham from Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc does not qualify for investigation under the mergers provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act), because the site at Coulby Newham is not an enterprise as defined in section 129 of the Act. A relevant merger situation has, therefore, not been created.

A new supermarket is being constructed at the site in question. There is an ex-Safeway store (now closed) on an adjacent site but Tesco will not be purchasing this store. Tesco will acquire a petrol filling station (PFS) on the site but this was closed at the same time as the old Safeway store. There is no business activity being pursued at the site that could be said to be 'continued' after the acquisition. As such, the acquisition is not that of an 'enterprise'.

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